New “Quality of Life” survey regs

Baltimore, Md.-Federal survey and certification regulations going into unprecedented detail and depth on resident quality of life will go into effect June 17. The regulations address issues such as resident privacy, dignity, visits by family/friends/outside agencies, and personal choice (including bedtime, wake-up time, dining and bathing preferences, and “healthcare schedules”). Surveyors are also directed to assess for a “homelike” environment, including appropriate lighting in all areas of the facility. “The facility is responsible for evaluating each resident’s unique needs and preferences and ensuring that the environment accommodates the resident to the extent reasonable and does not endanger the health or safety of individuals or other residents,” according to the new interpretive guidelines. The guidelines direct surveyors to use resident and family interviews, as well as the usual formal assessment data, to determine facility compliance. The revisions resulted from a symposium jointly sponsored last year by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Pioneer Network.

The Pioneer Network is offering two 90-minute session Webinars on the new regulations, presented by the CMS officials who spearheaded them, on June 10, 11, 17, or 18, at $89 for one session and $140 for the two. Registration information is available from

Proposed cuts could slash $1 billion from Medicare payments by 2010

Washington, D.C.-The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed adjustments to Medicare Part A payment rates that would amount to a $1.05 billion cut in 2010.

According to the American Health Care Association (AHCA), the states to be most affected by this potential cut are-in order of largest reductions to smallest-California, Florida, New York, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Michigan.

A separate analysis from AHCA forecasts a loss of $2.54 billion in business activity, as well as a reduction of $1.1 billion in labor income and 30,000 lost jobs due to the direct, indirect, and induced impact of the cut.

CMS is accepting comments on the proposed rule through June 30.

For more information on the potential impacts of this cut, see Gatty, “Associations bristle over Medicare cuts; offer an alternative,” on page 14.


Total FY 2010 Medicare Reduction





New York










New Jersey






U.S. Total

$1.05 Billion


Heard at ACHCA Annual Convocation, May 15-19, Providence, Rhode Island

“Some thought we’d be out of business a year ago. We’re stronger than ever.” ACHCA Chairman Stephen Esdale, noting 10-year high attendance in his opening address.

“The mood was unusually upbeat.” Eli Pick, administrator of Ballard Healthcare, Chicago, and ACHCA committee member, following the College’s Annual Banquet.

“Your facilities are grace-filled and you are all doing active ministry. I am proud of each and every one of you.” Msgr. Charles Fahey in his keynote “Improving End-of-Life Care in a Changing Environment.”


Update to ‘Red Flags Rule’

In our May issue, we reported that the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) ‘Red Flags Rule’ would have been instituted by the time that magazine was shipped to your mailbox. However, shortly after going to print, the FTC postponed the ruling for three months, giving all creditors-including long-term care facilities-until August 1 to establish identity theft prevention programs. A compliance template for the rule is available at

Long-Term Living 2009 June;58(6):11-12

Topics: Articles , Facility management , Regulatory Compliance